Western Deserts

The most rugged and remote area in Australia, the Western Deserts region covers a vast area of Western Australia. The last frontier where the challenges to the 4WDer are many but the rewards gained are even greater.
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Page Updated: 28 Apr 2010

Go to top Description


The Western Deserts is a vast area of Western Australia, and the region covers parts of the Little Sandy Desert, Gibson Desert and the Great Sandy Desert. The population is sparse, the challenges many, and extensive preparation for 4WD travel in this region is essential. This is an area that is best travelled in the winter months due to extremely high temperatures through summer.

The area is rich with history and many people travel the major treks in this region to follow in the footsteps of some of the toughest explorers in the world. What the likes of Major Peter Warburton, Ernest Giles, William Gosse, John Forrest, David Carnegie and Alfred Canning (to name a few) must have had to endure travelling across the "Western Deserts" is hard to imagine. Thirst, hunger, fatigue, extreme cold and heat, and local hostility to name a few. Surveyors such as Len Beadell, who graded many of the tracks in later years, also found the going tough when asked to grade roads for nuclear and missile areas around WWII. Later still, rich ore and gold opportunities in the area were discovered and there is evidence of mining, past and present, as you travel the region.

This area offers many opportunities for the 4WDer, but be prepared for some challenges. Desert travelling means long distances between supply points and the need for carrying large quantities of water and fuel plus making arrangements for permits through Aboriginal land. The rewards that come with travelling this region are its absolute remoteness, the desert environment and its constantly changing landscape and following the path of history. There are also incredible rock formations, springs and gorges, fantastic station country, Aboriginal communities and rock art and the feeling of being miles from anywhere.

The deserts offer their fair share of wildlife - some rare and beautiful birds around rock holes and springs, lizards, kangaroos, emus and the occasional dingo family. If you're lucky enough to be in this region after recent rains, the deserts literally spring to life with magnificent everlastings and beautiful wildflowers.

Go to top Treks

Agnew LoopAgnew Loop
The Agnew Loop is one of two Leonora loop treks, each providing two very different themes. Starting at Leonora, located in the Northern Goldfields of WA, this trek focuses on the Social History, retelling stories of the goldrush and subsequent settlement of the region. This trek features roughly 15 interpretive sites, with rusty steel story tellers at each site,
Anne Beadell HighwayAnne Beadell Highway
An inland alternative to travelling the Nullarbor, the Anne Beadell trek offers remoteness, isolation and unique vegetation and wildlife.
Bullfinch to Goongarrie StationBullfinch to Goongarrie Station
Bullfinch to Goongarrie Station takes the traveller through part of the Great Western Woodlands, and into remote country near the Mount Manning Nature Reserve. Starting at the small town of Bullfinch and ending at Goongarrie Station run by DEC, passing through Lake Ballard and Menzies,
Canning Stock RouteCanning Stock Route
The Canning Stock Route is a long-distance remote stretch of track through the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts. No longer in use as a stock route this is now a vehicular track allowing access to the wells constructed as stock watering holes.
Carnarvon RangeCarnarvon Range
The little known Canarvon Range is nestled between the Canning Stock Route and Kumarina Road House. Originally discovered by John Forrest, this range rises majestically out of the spinifex plain; it has gorges, rockholes, waterfalls and aboriginal art. Few people visit the range and its environs; it’s a 4Wdriving paradise and a magical place to visit. NOTE Effective June 2010 until further notice,
Connie Sue HwyConnie Sue Hwy
Named after the daughter of Len and Anne Beadell, the very remote Connie Sue Highway runs over 650kms from the railway town of Rawlinna to the Aboriginal community of Warburton.[Feature Story]
Darlot LoopDarlot Loop
The Darlot Loop is one of two Leonora loop treks, with this one taking you through the many and varied landscapes of the north eastern Goldfields. This self drive trek focuses heavily on the Natural History of the region and features roughly 15 interpretive sites, with rusty steel story tellers at each site, providing a first person account of the site in general.
David Carnegie RoadDavid Carnegie Road
The David Carnegie Rd is a little travelled track between the Great Central Rd and the Gunbarrel Hwy. It is a spectacular piece of country with rocky outcrops, spinifex plains and breakaways and in parts challenging 4WDing with deep ruts and washaways.
Eagle HwyEagle Hwy
The Eagle Hwy is a very isolated track in the Gibson Desert. At the northern end it can take you to the Gary Highway or the Talawanna Track and the southern end finishes at the Gunbarrel Hwy
Goldfields LoopGoldfields Loop
Go back to the turbulent days when new towns sprouted soon after a gold find only to turn to ruins after the gold dried up. The trek paints the picture of the gold rush days in WA, the jubilance and hardships faced and the towns that survived.
Great Central RoadGreat Central Road
Part of the "Outback Way", the Great Central Road is the main thoroughfare through Central Australia and links WA to NT. It is widely used by buses, trucks, 4WD and occasionally 2WD vehicles.
Gunbarrel HighwayGunbarrel Highway
The Gunbarrel Hwy is one of Australia's most famous roads being the first of many desert tracks built by surveyor Len Beadell. Today, this track remains isolated and remote - for experienced desert travellers only.
Heather HighwayHeather Highway
This track is a quick and easy way to get from the Great Central Road through to the Abandoned Section of the Old Gunbarrel Highway. Even though it does not offer many of the scenic features that other tracks offer in the area, it is still an interesting drive and provides relief from those torturous corrugations that you may have encountered further out on the Old Gunbarrel Highway.
Hunt Oil RoadHunt Oil Road
This remote trek links the Gunbarrel Hwy with the Great Central Road. It passes via Mount Worsnop and past the Hunt Oil road camps and drilling sites.
Northern Yilgarn Conservation ReservesNorthern Yilgarn Conservation Reserves
The area covered by this trek is very ecologically diverse; containing woodlands, heathlands, iron ore range country and extensive mulga in the north. Start at Southern Cross with a short detour to Lake Seabrook through to Koolyanobbing. Then onto the Helena and Aurora Ranges; to Kurrajong Rock and northwest through Mt Manning Nature Reserve. Then north to Mt Elvire and return south to Bullfinch.
Puntawarri TrackPuntawarri Track
The Puntawarri Track is an east-west track situated between Jigalong and the Canning Stock Route (CSR). The track joins the CSR at Canning’s Cairn in the Durba Hills.
Rason Lake RoadRason Lake Road
For those people that are travelling the Great Victoria Desert area and are looking for an alternative route to or from the Laverton area, the Rason Lakes Road makes a very interesting drive, covering a vast array of scenery and vegetation.
Sandy Blight Junction RoadSandy Blight Junction Road
The Sandy Blight Junction Road is one of those great four wheel drive trips that one visit will not be enough to experience the true beauty of this remote part of Outback Australia.
Tjukayirla CavesTjukayirla Caves
The Tjukayirla Roadhouse situated approximately half way between Laverton and Warburton in Western Australia on the Great Central Road now has something very special on offer besides a top place to stay – a series of recently discovered Aboriginal Art Site caves in the Great Victoria Desert.
West Great Victoria DesertWest Great Victoria Desert
This trek covers the western section of the Great Victoria Desert and is definately 4WD country. If you take this route you will follow in the footsteps of explorers Frank Hann, The Elder Expedition and Len Beadell.

Go to top Western Deserts Weather & Climate

Closest Weather Station

Halls Creek at 26/06:00am WST
Distance from Halls Creek 1.1km SW
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts
22.7°C21.9°C39%8.2°C1010.0hPa0.0mmSSE2km/hr
1knots
2km/hr
1knots

Closest Climatic Station

Halls Creek Airport
Distance from Halls Creek 1.1km SW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C36.835.635.333.829.927.227.230.034.037.138.337.8
Mean Min. °C24.323.722.820.416.713.612.614.819.022.624.424.7
Mean Rain mm150.7143.082.721.412.85.46.01.94.617.837.482.2

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